Monday, December 11th, 2017

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl

Published on December 20, 2011 by   ·   1 Comment

st-petersburg-bowl-logoThe St. Petersburg Bowl will be the fourth bowl game to be played in the 2011 college football bowl season. This year, the bowl game has found a sponsor who will take over the name of this bowl game, the Beef ‘O’ Brady which is a national chain of sports pub restaurants.

This bowl game hosts a bowl eligible team from the Big East and a contestant from Conference USA. However, there were not enough bowl eligible teams from the Big East so the Sun Belt Conference filled the spot. This year’s matchup features the Florida International Golden Panthers (8-4) and the Marshall Thundering Herd (6-6). This bowl game will be held on Tuesday, December 20 at 8:00PM ET and can be watched on TV on ESPN and also can be heard on ESPN Radio.

The first time this game was played was three years ago in 2008 when it was only known as the St Petersburg Bowl. It was created when local officials in St Petersburg pitched the idea for an annual bowl game at Tropicana Field. The bowl game will be played for the next couple of years as they have an agreement with the game’s organizers to continue until at least the 2013 college football season.

2011-beef-o-brady-bowl

This year, your not going to be able to find a whole lot of people who will be betting or watching this matchup. Most bowl games have something to hang your hat on, but both this bowl game is not going to be the most pleasant to watch.

It’s not that I’m trying to disrespect either teams, but FIU finished 4th in the Sunbelt conference and Marshall flat out shouldn’t be playing a bowl game.

RecordsFIU: 8-4; Marshall: 6-6
Key WinsFIU: Louisville 24-17, UCF 17-10; Marshall: Southern Miss 26-20, Louisville 17-13
Key LossesFIU: Duke 31-27; Marshall: UCF 16-6, Ohio 44-7, Houston 63-28, Tulsa 59-17

Both teams beat Louisville this year, but FIU beat UCF while the Knights beat Marshall. Outside of that, Florida International lost to all 3 teams that finished ahead of them in the Sunbelt.

Marshall lost its 6 games by an average of 27.5 points. They got eligible for their bowl game by winning 3 of their last 4. They had to beat lowly Memphis by 1 point with a 4th quarter comeback. They knocked out East Carolina in the final game in overtime to become bowl eligible while keeping ECU from getting its 6th win.

Points For/GameFIU: 26.3; Marshall: 22.0
Points Against/GameFIU: 19.4; Marshall: 30.2
Offensive Yards/GameFIU: 369.7; Marshall: 335.4

This is pretty indicative of the case I made above. Marshall has been outscored by more than 8 points a game. Their offense is in the bottom 1/4 of the nation. If that wasn’t enough, they also have a defense in the bottom 1/3rd of the nation. They made a bowl game on the strength of two surprise wins early in the season, followed by 4 wins against sub .500 teams in the last 6 games.

It isn’t that I think that Florida International is a great team. I think that they are better than Marshall and it will show when they meet up tonight. All of the statistics shows that Florida International should win. That is why the sportsbooks are currently showing that 80% of the bets are being placed on FIU even though they are a 4 1/2 point favorite.

Prediction

I don’t think that it hard to figure out who I’m predicting to win tonight. I have the FIU Golden Panthers winning the game 34-17.


2010 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl

Previous Bowl Results

In the two game history of this bowl, the Big East is 2-0 against Conference USA. Last year, Rutgers beat Central Florida 45-24 and in the first year of the bowl game South Florida beat Memphis 41-14.

st-petersburg-bowl

Louisville has not been to a bowl game since the 2006-2007 season when they won the Big East championship and beat Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl 24-13. The Cardinals are 6-7-1 all time in bowl games.

Southern Miss lost in last year’s New Orleans Bowl to Middle Tennessee 42-32. They entered the game 7-5 and lost to the Sun Belt champs (9-3 going into the game). The Golden Eagles are 9-11 all time in bowl games.

St Petersburg Bowl Breakdown

RecordsLouisville: 6-6; Southern Miss: 8-4
All Time Bowl RecordLouisville: 6-7-1; Southern Miss: 9-11
Key WinsLouisville: Uconn 26-0, Syracuse 28-20; Southern Miss: Kansas 31-16, UCF 31-21
Key LossesLouisville: Kentucky 23-16, Oregon State 35-28; Southern Miss: South Carolina 41-13, Tulsa 56-50

I believe that this game as well as a couple of other bowl games will show us exactly how weak/strong the Big East conference really is. You can really tell a lot from the Louisville’s conference schedule other than the games are really close and Louisville lost 4 out of 7 games in conference. What is more telling about them is their struggles against quality non-conference opponents. The only reason that Louisville made a bowl game is because they blew out hapless Rutgers on the final week to qualify at 6-6.

While Conference USA is not a powerhouse conference, Southern Miss has done a good enough job competing against the best in their conference. They lost very close games to Tulsa and East Carolina. The one thing to watch out for is the Golden Eagle’s defense, which give up almost 30 points a game. They make up for this by scoring nearly 38 points a game.

Points For/GameLouisville: 24; Southern Miss: 37.6
Points Against/GameLouisville: 21.4; Southern Miss: 29.4
Offensive Yards/GameLouisville: 354.1; Southern Miss: 458

The Louisville Cardinals are actually a 3 point favorite in this game. This is a hard game to call and could definitely go in either direction. This mirrors what people are doing at the sportsbook as the bets are almost 50/50 with a slight edge going to Southern Miss.

Prediction

The first three games were all blowouts and so far I am 3-0 on the winners of the bowl games. That being said, this should be the first close game and I am going to pick the Southern Miss Golden Eagles to win 35-31.

Take a look at the remaining College Bowl Game Contests that haven’t already started. The last main contest to start is the Fox Pick’em which begins on Christmas and starts with the Little Caesars Bowl.

Bowl Game Review

My first loss of the bowl season. What disappointed me most was that I was almost dead on with the score.
Southen Miss lost to Louisville 31-28. Had they scored one more TD I would have correctly guessed the score.

2010 Bowl Record – 3-1

Highlights from previous St Petersburg Bowl

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Readers Comments (1)

  1. […] Florida has failed to win a bowl game in three tries so far. They lost badly last year in the St Petersburg Bowl to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights […]




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